About This Blog
Welcome to Toward Accountable Payment, the official blog of the Medicare Payment Innovation Project. The project is an ongoing initiative to study provider payment reform and support organizations engaging in innovative payment programs.
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Last week, CMS released the application schedule for joining the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) in January 2014.
CMS moved the application deadlines forward by one month, starting the process in May rather than June this year. Although CMS offered three application windows for the initial cohorts—April 2012, July 2012, and January 2013—CMS has transitioned to a single, annual MSSP application process. Note that any organizations that miss the upcoming application deadlines would need to wait another year to apply for the MSSP’s January 2015 cohort.
CMS announces 2014 Medicare Shared Savings Program application deadlines
"How many ACOs are there?"
It’s a question I hear from Advisory Board members all the time—and the answer changes frequently. In addition to the 106 new Medicare ACOs that launched in January, ACOs continue to emerge in the private sector at a steady clip.
This past month alone, the Daily Briefing’s “ACO Roundup” announced several upcoming commercial payer initiatives, including new ACO contracts between Lifespan Corporation and UnitedHealthcare, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, and MissionPoint Health Partners and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The count keeps rising.
Study finds more than 400 ACOs up and running
We're only two months into 2013, and this has already proven to be a busy year for payment innovation. So far, we have welcomed 106 new Medicare ACOs and more than 450 Medicare bundling sites—not to mention the range of program and pilots underway in the private sector.
This year also marks an important evolution in the transition to accountable care. Providers are increasingly shifting focus from evaluating potential payment models to operating under new risk-based contracts.
To support providers beginning to tackle risk-based contracts, I want to introduce Toward Accountable Payment readers to our sister blog, the Care Transformation Center Blog. Log in now to subscribe to their email alerts.
Meet the Care Transformation Center Blog